My previous post about change management, which advocated nudges not mandates, received an excellent comment from Karen Way: “What I’ve found that works to nudge people into accepting data quality as part of their norm is to demonstrate the benefit to them, the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) factor. This is especially true when the WIIFM factor is perceived to be larger than the cost of the effort to participate in data quality and data governance programs.”
I responded in agreement that WIIFM is an essential aspect of change management, especially when WIIFM is perceived to be greater than the WMETP (what’s my effort to participate) factor.
Most change management efforts stall right out of the gate because the change seems too daunting to most people. The path of least resistance is the path people have always been following. If you want to convince people that they need to take a detour from the path most traveled, then that detour has to begin with a slippery slope — not a steep incline. Bringing about a change is never going to be easy, but if it is too difficult to get started, the change will never happen.
And providing a slippery slope at the start has to be followed by easily achievable next steps to maintain momentum. Change happens when what’s in it for the people being asked to change remains greater than their effort to participate in each step of the change management effort.
Rendering change management strategy into a simple formula: Change = WIIFM > WMETP.